Monday, November 1, 2010

To Men: Reject Passivity

Defining Manhood, Part II

If you randomly ask men on the street, “What does it mean to be a man?” you will probably get a thousand different responses.

Until I was born again I never considered Jesus Christ as the example, the model or the blueprint for masculinity.  Most of the Jesus movies didn’t help me to see him as “manly” either but instead spooky and distant. 
Many Christian men don’t take the time to reflect on what models, images and stories of manhood shaped us.
But if your son or some stranger asks you, “What does it mean to be a man?” what would you say?  How would you answer your son?  What are you modeling for your daughter who will probably marry a man much like you?  What do you say to the man experiencing an identity crisis?
Last week I shared a definition of manhood or at least Christian manhood from pastor and author Robert Lewis.  I really like his definition found in his book Raising a Modern Day Knight.
So here is it again.  A Christian man rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously and expects the great reward from his Heavenly Father.
Robert takes time to treat each piece as an individual principle under the banner “a vision for manhood.”  I intend to do the same thing beginning with the question, “What does it mean for a Christian man to reject passivity?”
The same man who can be aggressive on the road can be passive in his career and stop pursuing higher education or certificates that will get him a better job.
The same man who can be a bully on the block never learns to manage his finances and frustrates his wife when the bills are overdue.
Being aggressive can be a cover up for a failure to live life without a purpose and meaning beyond momentary pleasures. 
A Christian man is called by God to reject the social and spiritual passivity that was found in Adam who said nothing when the Serpent tempted Eve…
Or when Moses failed to circumcise his son and his wife had to do the job…
Or when David allowed his sons to run amok…
By nature boys run, climb, fight and conquer.  But because of our sinful nature and being cut off from God we are passive about our social and spiritual responsibilities.
Turning from spiritual and social passivity is different for every man.
Some of us are intentional and full of purpose concerning our Bible study but passive about our health.  Others are very intentional about their careers but passive in fathering our children.
This is why we need training in Biblical manhood.  A lack of vision is a core reason for a man’s passivity.  But our Father promises us vision through His Holy Spirit.  In fact, the Holy Spirit is the source of wisdom, inspiration, guidance and strength. 
But you have to put in the sweat.
Ed Cole taught that there were two kinds of sins; sins of commission (stuff we did wrong) and omission (stuff we failed to do). 
How do we start rejecting passivity?  Repent.  Turn to your Father.  Trust him and reject passivity.  Learn the difference between being aggressive and being assertive, proactive and intentional.
Have you considered writing the vision for your relationship with God and your family?  Have you written down your gifts, talents and abilities?  Do you know them?  Do you have a vision for your career or are you just “settling?”

Where do you start?  Take courage.  God is with you and he hasn’t given you a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and a sound mind.

Change is not an event, it is a process.  But it starts by turning to the Father who wants to train you alongside honest brothers who will hold you accountable.   And there are resources like the Leading a Mission Driven Life Bible Study from Man in the Mirror that you can order and study alongside your brothers in Christ.

Next week, we’ll talk about the need to “accept responsibility” for what God has given us as his sons; to be warriors, visionaries and heroes. 
Your brother,
Minister Onorio

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